And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:4 (ESV)
John begins his first epistle with this: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3 ESV)
What, or we might ask, who was this word of life, this eternal life, of which John was speaking? In his gospel John wrote, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4 ESV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 ESV)
The parallels from John’s epistle and his gospel are obvious. Both say that the Word was in the beginning. Both say that the Word was with the Father (God). Both say that the Word was life. Both say that the Word was manifest to them and dwelt with them and they saw him. And John declares that the Word was Jesus, the Son of the Father. John also says that they not only saw him, but also heard him and touched him.
John and the other apostles proclaimed what they had heard from the word of life so that others could have fellowship with them, the Father and with the Son Jesus Christ. Then he makes an incredible statement in verse 4; And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This statement is remarkable because John had just said in essence that he and others had heard the glory of God speak, had seen the glory of God and had touched the glory of God. How could such a glorious experience not have made them completely joyous? According to John, their joy was not complete until they told somebody. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
We are very vocal concerning the things in which we are passionate and we cannot wait to tell someone when something good happens to us. Our passions and good fortunes would be much less fulfilling if we could not share them. Sharing them completes our joy. C.S. Lewis wrote, “It’s not out of a compliment that lovers keep telling one another how beautiful they are. The delight is incomplete until it is expressed. In the same way, we delight to praise God because our praise of him not merely expresses, but it completes our enjoyment.”
When we have a passion for Christ we will share him with others. Our sharing will not only testify of our passion for him but also complete the joy we have in our relationship with him.
Does your life lack joy? Are you sharing Christ?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 John 1:12